Should LUU work with the University to foster a culture that is welcoming and supportive of students from Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen and Boater communities?

Passed: March 2024 (14th)

What is the current problem, and how does it affect students? 

The biggest and most comprehensive survey on race inequality in the UK found that more than a third of people from ethnic and religious minority groups have faced some sort of racial discrimination. Those in Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities face more racial discrimination than any other minoritised ethnic groups. Research here 

This has wider implications on the social and economic development of GRTSB communities which includes their access to education. Barriers to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils' achievement in compulsory education, in turn reduce their access to HE as the likelihood of gaining the requisite grades at GCSE and A- Level needed to access HE are diminished. 

There are very few Gypsy, Traveller and Roma (GTR) university students and graduates in the UK, with an estimated average of 200 members of the communities in higher education at any one time (Greenfields, 2019; Mulcahy et. al. 2017). 

Ensuring support and access to Higher Education for members of these ethnic minority populations, and the wider group of students included under the ‘GRT’ rubric by the OfS  (which includes students from New Traveller)  is therefore a matter of social justice, impacting as it does, greater access to employment, increased social mobility, enhanced opportunity and visibility, and increased equality for members of the GRTSB populations.

LUU already has a policy on addressing the hate crime and discrimination faced by Gypsy, Traveller and Roma community on campus and in Leeds. This policy expands on that. We ask that LUU work with the University of Leeds to support the access and success of students from the GRTSB communities into Leeds. 

What is your proposed change? Why would this Idea benefit students? 

Leeds University should work towards a culture that welcomes, is inclusive of, and understands the backgrounds of students from Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen and Boater communities. (*Note we acknowledge that Showmen and Boater are not currently recognised as ethnic backgrounds. Showmen and Boater are New Travellers, included in Office of Student (OfS) metric of ‘GRT’ communities). 

This includes; 

Have you considered the impact of the proposed change for traditionally underrepresented student groups? 

The aim of the idea is to have better support in place for students from the most structurally disadvantaged, discriminated community in their access to and attendance in Higher Education, so that they can thrive. 

Expires: March 2027 (14th)

Submitted By: Haryati Mohammed

Officer: Equality and Liberation Officer

Area of Work: Equality and Liberation


March 24-New Policy